Classic Christianity – Book of John Part 3 (04-03-19)
Bob George continues teaching from the book of John. He encourages all believers to pick up the gospel of John over and over again so you may know the love of God. What counts is lives changed by the Holy Spirit living in men, where faith expresses itself through love. The love that is produced in you is the love of God so that love can be expressed through you.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
There was a beginning for you and the beginning was the word of God. When God created this world, how did he create it? God created everything there is by his word. This world came into existence by the spoken word of God. So we know that the word was with God and the word was God. The Word of God was in the beginning. The Word of God is God Himself. Through Him, God, all things have been made. The book is not the Word. He, God, a person is the Word.
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it
Darkness never understands light. When you shed light on a darkened mind, he cannot understand it. But a natural man can understand there is light. He may not understand it but he can comprehend it. At some point in our life, we comprehended God loved you and you responded to that message and you were born again.
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
John testified of this light that through Him man might believe. John said he is not the light.
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.
Jesus became flesh and entered this world to his own people, the Jews of Israel, and they did not receive him. There were thousands who did but the multitude of them and the leadership did not receive him. To all who did receive, those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become a child of God.
11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
Prior to that time of receiving Jesus are we children of God? Are we all God’s children? No. Are we born in the image of God? No. We were born in the image of Adam, lost and in darkness, not born of God, but born of mom and dad. These children of God are not natural children. You do not become a child of God by natural means. Your mom and dad cannot give you spiritual birth. A Jewish by natural birth called into Bob George radio and asked, “If mom and dad are not born again believers and if had child would they be children of God?” No. Natural man cannot bear a spiritual being. When born spiritually, you are not born by natural means. Not born by natural descent or human decision or by parents will. A married couple cannot say “Let’s have a baby” in order to produce a spiritual child. You have to be born of God, from above. You have to have spiritual birth that is initiated by God. There are two kinds of birth. Until born again until age 36, Bob did not realize there were two births. He had no clue about another birth awaiting him. God in his plan says there are two births. The natural birth always comes first. No such thing to be born spiritually first before being born naturally. Two births, one from mom and dad, and one from God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
The word was God and the word became flesh. Who is the Word? God! is the Word. What did God do? He became flesh. Who is that? Jesus. So who is God? Jesus.
We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth
What is Jesus full of? Jesus is full of grace and truth. You cannot separate the grace of God from the person of God. You cannot separate truth from the person of God. You cannot separate the word of God from the person of God. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”)
John, being a realist, knew full well that he, John, was born physically prior to Jesus. He was before me because He was always alive.
16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.
Has anybody initiated anything? Grace is the initiator. Because He initiated creation and salvation, we have been able to receive something. Does everyone receive grace? No. Does everyone receive truth? No. God gave a will to man. One could say God gambled when he gave will to man in that man would not listen to Him. But the only alternative to free will is to make a robot out of us.
We are given a will, a choice. We have a choice. Am I going to receive this grace or reject it? We who are in Christ Jesus have received one blessing after another. For, a contrast, we have received the blessing of grace.
17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
The law was from Moses. No one has seen God. Some claim they have. In studio, a man on air was asked, “Have you ever made the discovery of knowing Christ personally? The man replied, “No, I have not but I did see space on the moon one day.” We can know God by knowing Jesus personally. Because Jesus said we can know God when you know Him.
18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
Who is the one at the Father’s side? Jesus. All you know about God has been made known to you by Jesus. You do not need to seek the Father because Jesus said, “I and the Father are one”. You do not seek the Holy Spirit because he has been given to you. You do not seek what you have. You get the Holy Spirit when you get Jesus. There is nothing to seek but Jesus. When you eat and drink of Jesus, figuratively speaking here, you have all there is. People out there seeking the Father, and seeking Holy Spirit and the gift. You do not seek the Holy Spirit and gifts. When you have Jesus you have everything. You will not get something by seeking but by receiving.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
It is a denial of belief that Jesus is God when you seek something rather than receive Him by faith. Jesus has made him known. God is the Father, is the Son, and is the Holy Spirit. That is meaning of the trinity. Has anyone seen a Spirit? No. You cannot see a Spirit any more than you can see wind.
No one has seen God. If the Spirit of God is in Him, and the Spirit of God dwells in flesh, accept that as truth whether totally comprehend that or not.
19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”
John was a messenger of the coming Messiah promised to the Jews through the prophets. John said he as not the Messiah. He identified himself by the words of the prophet Isaiah as the voice calling in the wilderness, make straight the way for the Lord. So if you want to know God the Father, listen to Him.
24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” 28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
John testifies of Christ as the person who is the Messiah. He baptized in order that Jesus might be revealed to Israel as the promised Messiah.
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
Did John say, “the lamb of God who covers the sins of the world?” No. The covering of sins was called atonement. The taking away of sin is called propitiation. Propitiation means “I am satisfied.” The Father i in essence saying, “The quality of the blood of my son took away the sins of the entire world.” The sacrifice of bulls and goats did not do that. Atonement has a place in history but was replaced by propitiation. When we hang onto atonement for forgiveness, then we have to go back again and again to get sins forgiven.
Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
Why do priests stand? They stand because the work is never finished. What the Levitical priests did, under an Old Covenant God made with the Jews prior to the cross, was called atonement, a temporary covering for sin by the shedding of blood of animals, a lamb, a bull or a goat. Such sacrifices could never take away sins.
In many translations, you will still see the word “atonement” used. That is an incorrect translation from the original Hebrew language. Continual theological usage is the only reason it is made acceptable, which is the dumb idea of men. But truth from God’s word is propitiation.
So what does it mean to repent? You hear from many churches today that we should repent of our sins.
1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
What is John saying to repent of? What did Jesus believe as the way you got sins forgiven? Was it to go back to atonement? What do Catholics do to think they are getting their sins forgiven? Do they go to a confession booth or a priest to absolve them of sins? What do Protestants do to get sins cleared off the slate? Do they quote 1 John 1:9 as if to keep a short account with God or get fellowship with God restored? Do they teach you to rededicate your life if you sinned in a big way? All those things are man-made things, not the truth.
A belief system contrary to truth is what man comes up with. Jesus is full of grace and truth. If I am to become a child of grace, a child of God, I must repent of a lie. I am believing in order to believe truth about God as revealed by Jesus. If I am still hanging on to a lie I am believing, then I never repented, and I am not believing the truth God revealed. When you come to Christ, you do not hang onto fact that I keep sins forgiven by going to a priest. I must change my mind in order to repent toward truth that has been revealed not by denominations but by going through the revealed word of God I hold in my hands today. I got to change my mind about going to a priest for confession. I cannot say I am saved if I have not changed my mind about the paramount issue of Jesus. He died on a cross to take away my sins. I must repent of anything contrary of that in order to be saved. I cannot be a Jew and say I am going to the day of atonement to get my sins forgiven. You have to repent of that. Yet, even after AD 70, with the destruction of the temple, where no more animal sacrifices of atonement, still they have not repented of that thinking.